Review: Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Review: Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent
Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Published by Gallery/Scout Press on August 22, 2017
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Format: ARC, Print
Source: The Publisher

Buy: AmazonB&N
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four-stars

I received an advance copy of this book from The Publisher.

“I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”

So begins Liz Nugent’s astonishing debut novel—a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically astute exploration of the nature of evil.

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

With its alternating points of view and deft prose, Unraveling Oliver is “a page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense” (Sunday Independent) that details how an ordinary man can transform into a sociopath.

If you like fiction that’s disturbing, creepy, and unsettling, this book is for you.

Oliver Ryan is a successful author of children’s books. His wife, Alice, illustrates his books. To the outside world, they appear to be an ideal couple—successful and seemingly happy—until the night Oliver beats Alice so brutally that she’s left in a coma.

Who could have seen this coming? Why would Oliver do such a thing? Told in alternating, multiple points of view from those who know Oliver and Alice best, Liz Nugent dissects the character of Oliver and examines the question: How does someone become a monster?

A fast-paced read that will appeal to fans of Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris.

Rating: 4 stars

four-stars

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